Niskayuna soccer star Doyle makes state hall of fame

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Meghan Doyle said her recent election to the New York State High School Girls Soccer Hall of Fame came as quite a surprise, but the abundance of credit she gave for her success came as no surprise at all.

Humble in her superstar days at Niskayuna High School and still that way, the state’s two-time Class AA co-player of the year was among 12 individuals to earn the honor from the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports.

Doyle is joined among others in the hall of fame’s fifth class by former Shenendehowa High School coach Jan Federice.

“So many people poured hours of their time into helping me,” said the 24-year-old Doyle, who currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, and stays close to the game as a youth soccer coach. “So many people helped me along the way. I am super grateful for all those who believed in me.”

Doyle soaked in everything, and with diligent work on her game and natural talent combined with many years as an Irish step dancer that honed her footwork, she emerged as a central figure on Niskayuna teams that put together a 51-12-1 record in her four years as a striker. Niskayuna secured the Section II Class AA championship her senior year in 2013, and she had one of the goals in a 2-0 title-clinching victory over Saratoga Springs.

“This award reflects more on the team than me,” Doyle said. “I couldn’t have done it without [Niskayuna] coach [Bryce] Colby and the team.”

While her teammates often got Doyle the ball, she knew just what to do with it, and in her four varsity seasons collected 65 goals and 38 assists.

“I was not super creative, but I was a player that could take a player one-on-one off the dribble, especially in wide areas of the field,” Doyle said.

Doyle had 18 goals and 10 assists as a senior when she was named the top player in Section II and an All-American to go with her repeat all-state player of the year recognition.

“Both of those years it was kind of a surprise, as well,” Doyle said of her state co-player of the year awards. “There were so many great players in the area let alone the state.”

Being on a soccer field in a Niskayuna uniform always brought great joy to Doyle.

“Every game in high school was so much fun,” Doyle said. “Going to school with all the girls and knowing them out of school, and we had really good team camaraderie.”

Doyle was often familiar with players from other schools whom she competed with and against at the club level.

“I was ultra-competitive, and you wanted bragging rights, but as soon as the final whistle blew, you were friends,” Doyle said.

Doyle played in 59 games, scored a couple of game-winning goals her senior year and made four NCAA tournament appearances in her career at Notre Dame. She graduated with a business degree and presently works as a data analyst for a healthcare company in Nashville.

Doyle was back in Niskayuna for the holidays when Colby called to let her know she was the high school’s newest hall of fame selection. Niskayuna graduates Meghan Pastiglione and Kristin Scharphorn were members of the 2018 and 2019 classes, respectively.

“I had heard the hall of fame was recently created, but I didn’t even know I was nominated,” Doyle said. “It’s an early Christmas present.”

Federice led the Shenendehowa girls’ soccer team to a 277-57-13 record from 1980 through 1996. Her teams won nine Suburban Council titles and nine Section II Class A crowns, and six of those editions reached the state final four. Shenendehowa shared the state championship with Walt Whitman in 1992.

Shenendehowa graduates Betsy Drambour (2017) and Ashleigh Moore (2018) were previous hall of fame selections.

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, High School Sports, Sports

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